Handling Techniques

Using the Dog's Name

You generally will not want to use the dog's name when doing agility. In the very least, a dog's name is a command for attention. Many dogs respond to their name as though it is a "come" command. Thus, the only time it would probably be wise to use the dog's name is when you need the dog to do a sharp turn and you want to make absolutely sure you have his attention. In an agility run, it is better to have your dog looking ahead so he doesn't accidentally knock a pole because he's busy looking at you. Another reason to not use the dog's name is because you only have so much time to say a command. If you add superfluous words, that command may well be too late to be effective (This means you also have to limit praise to times when you know it won't hurt your timing of commands). (Shari Heino)


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